The Manchester Free Press

Sunday • May 26 • 2019

Vol.XI • No.XXI

Manchester, N.H.

If Trump freed Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht, would you vote Trump in 2020?

Free Keene - 5 hours 38 min ago

Ross Ulbricht, Heroic Founder of the Silk Road

Ross Ulbricht is the founder of the world’s first Darknet market site, the Silk Road. By launching the anonymous marketplace, Ross changed the black market in the most fundamental and positive ways in all of history. The Silk Road allowed users for the first time ever to purchase their drugs anonymously and from the safety of their homes rather than having to go out in the streets where robbery and ripoffs have been common occurrences in the black market.

The Silk Road lowered violent crime and increased the odds that the buyer was actually getting the drug they ordered, since dealers on the Silk Road were subject to anonymous competitors. That drove prices down and quality up. All the while, Ross, acting as site administrator, “Dread Pirate Roberts” helped his site’s users understand the ideas of liberty through a book club he ran. Ross was and still is a very principled voluntarist libertarian. Ross is also arguably the second most important person in the history of Bitcoin besides its anonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. Silk Road put Bitcoin (BTC) on a lot of people’s radar at a very early time in Bitcoin’s history, as one needed to have Bitcoin in order to shop on the site.

Of course, the government thugs could not allow this newfound free market to stand so they targeted Silk Road and were able to uncover its location and admins back in 2013, bringing them up on multiple felony charges. One admin, “Inigo” aka Andrew Michael Jones was even a Free State Project signer who had visited Keene, though we didn’t know that about him at the time.

After a sham trial, where Ross was clearly railroaded, lowlife judge Katherine Forrest sent him to prison for two life sentences plus forty years. All for simply creating a website. Forrest believed this would “send a message”, but apparently no one cares. More sites like Silk Road popped up to replace it and despite many of them being taken down by the feds over the years, they keep springing up again and again. After all, there is a lot of money to be made and someone will always be willing to take the risk to supply the demand in the market. The cops can talk tough all they want – the war on drugs is a failure and anyone honest knows it.

Derrick J and Michele Seven rally to Free Ross outside his trial.

This week, I spoke with Lyn Ulbricht, Ross’ mother. She has a new plan to get her son out. Given Ross’ appeals failed in the corrupt, evil “justice” system, his only chance at freedom is a commutation of his sentence from none other than Donald Trump. Though this certainly seems like a long shot, Trump has indicated some interest in criminal justice reform, so perhaps it’s not impossible. Lyn has already been circulating a petition nationwide which has garnered over 168,000 signatures. However, her new plan involves a special petition only for people in New Hampshire.

Her new idea is to get New Hampshire likely voters to indicate their support for Trump commuting Ross’ sentence, ideally with the voter pledging they’ll become a single issue voter and vote for Trump in 2020. While the petition itself doesn’t pledge that the signer will vote for Trump, Lyn has asked that those willing to make that pledge should do so in the comments section. If you’re in New Hampshire or will be by 2020, please take a moment to sign the petition here. If you’re willing to vote Trump if he commutes Ross’ sentence, please indicate as such. It’s not like your vote means anything at the national level anyway, so why not?

Once the petition gets enough signatures, Lyn will present it to the head of the Republican party in New Hampshire in hopes that will help it get in front of Trump. It’s a long shot, but it’s the only chance Ross has. I’m signing, how about you?

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Successful “Bitcoin Pizza Day” in Crypto Mecca – 2019

Free Keene - Thu, 2019-05-23 07:57 +0000

For the third year in a row, local cryptocurrency users in the Crypto Mecca of Keene, NH gathered at local crypto-accepting pizza joint, “Little Zoe’s” to celebrate Bitcoin Pizza Day. The annual celebration, set on May 22nd, commemorates what is regarded as the first real-life cryptocurrency purchase in 2010, when Laszlo Hanyecz purchased two pizzas for 10,000 Bitcoin (BTC). This year, the holiday was covered by 60 Minutes.

In Keene, a bunch of people gathered from as far as Amherst, MA and Brattleboro, VT to celebrate with delicious pies from Little Zoe’s Pizza in Keene, NH where for years owners Ed and Melanie Forster have offered take-and-bake pies of excellent quality. This year, Little Zoe’s acquired an oven for their store and are now offering their pizzas hot, with outdoor seating as the seasons allow.

Crypto users gathered at Little Zoe’s Pizza in Keene for Bitcoin Pizza Day 2019.

Today was a perfect day with warm weather and plenty of sunlight for the various crypto fans, old and new, who gathered together in celebration of a form of money that eliminates governments and banks from the picture and delivers a useful, secure form of international money that does what it promises. Cryptocurrency allows value to be sent securely and near-instantaneously, across the globe or right next door, for next to zero fees.

There’s a reason why Bitcoin (BTC) has grown over a decade from a value of $0, to this week as high as over $8,000 per BTC. This isn’t a fluke.

In addition to being useful for sending value globally, cryptocurrency is also attractive to local mom & pop business owners. That’s because with cryptocurrencies, the customer pays the very small fee to send their crypto to the business. This is the reverse of a credit card transaction where the business pays a typically 3% fee, out of their profits for each transaction. In contrast, that means that when accepting cryptocurrency, the business keeps 100% of the sale.

Do you take the road less traveled?

Unfortunately, due to a disagreement among Bitcoin programmers, a “hard fork” or schism happened in August of 2017 that resulted in there becoming two competing “bitcoin” – Bitcoin (BTC) vs Bitcoin Cash (BCH). By that point in time, there were already thousands of would-be competitors to Bitcoin, like DASH, Monero, and others. Because Bitcoin (BTC)’s programmers failed to fix the problems with BTC’s escalating network transaction fees, the competitors were able to successfully offer drastically lower cost alternatives, right on time, when the market most needed alternatives.

Enter Anypay.global, a Point-Of-Sale crypto payments processor that also launched in August 2017 and is based in nearby Portsmouth, NH and co-founded by longtime Keene activist and Free Keene blogger, Derrick J Freeman. Anypay wisely launched offering two options for local businesses to easily accept cryptocurrency at the point-of-sale: Bitcoin (BTC) and DASH. Local businesses who were already accepting BTC were eager to adopt DASH as a lower-fee alternative, because it was the right option for their customers, as DASH’s sending fees are usually less than $0.01 worth of DASH, whereas today’s Bitcoin (BTC) fees can be as high as over $2.00 worth of BTC.

Since then, even more local businesses have begun accepting cryptocurrency including DASH aka “Digital Cash”, BTC, and the newer competitor to BTC, Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Most local businesses accept all three, thanks to the Anypay app, which has expanded to allow business owners to accept multiple cryptos including even Ripple (XRP), Dogecoin (DOGE), Horizen (ZEN), Smartcash (SMART), and a privacy coin called ZCash (ZEC).

Thanks to Anypay, people paying in DASH or Bitcoin Cash at local merchants like Little Zoe’s are able to receive 10% back into their wallet, near-instantaneously. Last year, Anypay launched a promotional feature called “DASH-Back“, which provided DASH-paying customers with a 10% instant rebate along with a DASH-bonus to the business owner. As Anypay’s public charts reveal, the program continues to pay out, with over 52 DASH given out over the course of the program. That’s over $7,900 worth of DASH at today’s DASH price, approx $152.

Recently, Anypay quietly activated “Bitcoin Cash-Back” or “BCH-Back”, which also offers a 10% instant rebate to any customer paying with BCH. From observing customers at recent meetups happening every six days in the Keene area, it appears that DASH and BCH are the clear kings of retail crypto use here in the Crypto Mecca. I discussed the situation here in greater detail on the recent episode of Dash Force News, where I compared the local crypto scene here in the Shire to the scene in Tokyo, another world-capital for crypto-acceptance-and-use:

If you’re new to cryptocurrency and want to learn more, sign up for the free “Bitcoin 101” class at the Bitcoin Embassy NH at 661 Marlboro St. in Keene. If you love freedom and crypto and don’t yet live in New Hampshire, you ought to seriously consider it.

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Volunteers Needed Now

Immediate Openings Available

Please visit this page for more information:  http://www.ccjrnh.org/volunteer_positions

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

NH’s “Free Talk Live” Reaches 200 Radio Affiliate Milestone!

Free Keene - Sat, 2019-05-11 22:44 +0000

Adam Kokesh joins from the Free Talk Live broadcast table at Anarchapulco 2018.

“Free Talk Live“, the world’s only nationally syndicated pro-liberty radio show, was created in Florida on a little FM talk station in Sarasota in 2002. In 2004 we became nationally syndicated with an initial three radio stations by the Genesis Communications Network. Seven years later, we reached 100 affiliates in 2011. Now, approximately eight years after that, we’ve reached 200 stations!

What an amazing run it has been so far and we couldn’t have done it without the support of our various sponsors, especially Credit Adjustments Inc and Bitcoin.com and the nearly 2,000 people who have helped AMP our show over the years.

In the syndicated radio world, it’s hard to find a show that keeps an accurate affiliate count. I know this because it’s my job to contact radio stations about FTL. Whenever another syndicated show ends, the first thing I do is try to acquire their affiliate list and call their stations to pitch Free Talk Live to the program directors. If I can even find a list, nearly always there are a BUNCH of stations on there that have changed formats, gone off-the-air entirely, or had already dropped the show in question, sometimes years prior. Syndicated radio shows are notorious for keeping inaccurate affiliate lists, but Free Talk Live is different.

I call all our stations multiple times each year to keep in touch, remind them I’m here to help, and if I find out we’ve been dropped, I take them off our list. If we kept our list like the other shows do – keeping every station we’ve ever had on the list forever – we’d be claiming 400 stations! Ours is the most accurate list in the business, of that I am certain. As of now, we have 203. You can see the full list here on our website.

I’ve lovingly dubbed FTL the “radio vulture”. Whenever a syndicated show dies, we’re there to pick at its remains and grab a few new affiliates. This tactic, plus just good old-fashioned persistence, has resulted in Free Talk Live being the longest running syndicated show in our daypart of 7-10pm Eastern.

“Free Talk Live” Moves up to #27 on the TALKERS “Heavy Hundred” for 2018!

We’re like an appliance – turn us on during our live times, and we’re there. FTL is one of the few shows that’s live all seven nights per week. In fact, I think Coast 2 Coast is the only other show that does this in the industry.

We just jumped from 196 affiliates to 203 thanks to the demise of multiple shows on our own network, GCN. Recently they decided to whittle down their inventory of shows to simplify their operations and lower costs. Free Talk Live is their number one show for radio affiliates. We have more than their previous top show, Alex Jones, and we’ve bested Jones for many years now. To Jones’ credit, he kills us in internet popularity, but we win by a longshot in broadcast affiliates.

We’re not crazy conspiracy nuts. We just love freedom and are grateful to be able to talk about it seven nights a week to a national and international audience. If you’ve never listened, you can grab archives and our podcast here at FreeTalkLive.com.

If you want to help us bring the message of liberty to our next major milestone of 300 affiliates in the U.S., sooner rather than later, please take a moment and join the AMP program for just $5 (or BTC) a month. Right now we have just under 200 AMPlifiers and we could use your help. The $5 you’ll spend will go further today than it did 15 years ago when we had fewer stations, as the more affiliates we have, the easier it is to bring on new ones. Plus, you’ll get access to some cool perks!

Thank you again to all our AMPlifiers, advertisers, affiliates, and listeners, whether you’re supporting us now or have at some point in the past. You helped make this unprecedented success possible.

Namaste.

P.S. Here’s a handy interactive map showing all our transmitter locations across the US and beyond:

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Father of 5 says life on sex offender registry has forced him and his family into homelessness

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Many people may be unconcerned with what someone on the registry goes through, but William Walker said he hopes by sharing details of his arrest and the collateral damage it’s causing his kids, someone will rent him a place to live.

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Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Cannabis Civil Disobedience Hits NH State House for 9th Year of 420 at 4:20 on 4/20

Free Keene - Sun, 2019-04-28 20:53 +0000

Hardcore civil disobedient activists who came out in the rain for 4/20/2019! -Photo courtesy Shire Free Media

For years, I’ve been reporting on the brutally slow political progress in New Hampshire, of ending the prohibition on possession, growing, and selling of cannabis, one of the most amazing and useful plants on the planet. Though New Hampshire finally legalized medical cannabis in 2013 it took a few years for the first dispensary to open due to bureaucratic foot-dragging – as patients died waiting.

Though Democrat governor Maggie Hassan did sign the medical cannabis bill, she stood in the way of any decriminalization efforts. Decriminalizing possession was finally signed by the new Republican governor Chris Sununu in 2017. However Sununu has promised to veto any legalization efforts, despite it having large support in the state house.

Given sales of and growing cannabis are still criminal offenses and people can still be ticketed for possession, the annual 420 rallies on the steps of the state house in Concord continued into its ninth year last weekend. At least sixty hardcore activists came out from across the state on April 20th to gather on what started as a rainy afternoon but ultimately cleared up in time for the mass civil disobedience at 4:20pm.

Rich Paul gave his tradition invocation and spoke on why government regulation of the cannabis business was unnecessary and Rick Naya led the crowd in a moment to remember the activists who have died or been incarcerated along the road to where we are today. Thank you to everyone who came out this year despite the weather. Mark your calendars for April 20th of 2020 and join us in Concord next year! Here’s the video I took from this year’s event:

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Public Hearing this Friday, April 26, 2019 - PLease come

CCJR Members and Friends:

I hope you can come to a public hearing this Friday, April 26, on 100 pages of proposed administrative rules by the Department of Corrections. Citizens for Criminal Justice Reform has worked for the last five years to bring about this meeting before the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules.

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Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Forkfest Sponsors Porcupine Freedom Festival!

Free Keene - Sun, 2019-04-21 19:34 +0000

Forkfest Sponsors Porcfest!

Back in 2017 a few NH liberty activists, including Free Keene bloggers Derrick and Steven decided to create their own friendly competitor to the Porcupine Freedom Festival, initially called Somaliafest. The idea was that it would be a decentralized alternative to Porcfest, which is the yearly festival thrown at Rogers Campground by the Free State Project. A few dozen folks came out to attend it and it went by a few names at the time. People seemed to have a good time so they decided to do it again in 2018.

The most important thing to know is that there’s no central committee deciding anything for the decentralized event. Just about the only thing generally agreed upon are the dates. Even the name has changed, depending on who you ask. In 2018, Free Keene blogger Darryl W Perry came up with the catchy name, “Forkfest”, which seems to have stuck with many participants. An unofficial Forkfest website was launched along with an unofficial Telegram chat room and unofficial Forkfest Forum. Liberty.menu has created an event to which one can RSVP. Last year there were even two competing event calendars made by attendees.

Darryl’s “Forkfest” name speaks to the idea that this event “forked” off from the Porcupine Freedom Festival. Some have noted that attending Forkfest felt to them like the first original Porcfests, which were much less centrally managed early on than they are today. Porcfest is still a great event, but its direction over the years has resulted in some wanting an alternative, and now they have it as Forkfest 2019 is coming up June 13th through 18th, at Rogers Campground. There are no ticket prices, as there is no organization behind the event. It’s just a bunch of liberty loving people coming to the same campground at the same time. Whatever happens, happens.

Five-Hour Rave at Forkfest 2017

Some Forkfest attendees may just want to hang out and camp with other like-minded people while others may wish to create activities and events for their fellow attendees. Usually, they’ll announce their plans on the Telegram chat or Forkfest forum and already there’s going to be “Mancamp”, nightly dance parties thrown by Anypay, and looks like at least a couple of food vendors. Maybe there’s something you want to see happen? Make it happen!

One excited past Forkfest attendee, Chris Waid of tech talk show Freedom Decrypted has stepped up to help promote Forkfest by purchasing a major sponsorship of Porcfest! Thanks to Waid’s efforts, Forkfest is now a Gold level sponsor of Porcfest! That means Porcfest’s VIP tent will be provided by Forkfest and Forkfest fliers will be in all Porcfest attendees’ bags, promoting Forkfest 2020. When asked about his reasons for sponsoring the event, Waid said, “As a programmer and CEO of a tech company that deals in free or open source software where forking is a common solution to problems of centralization it would have been difficult for me to pass on an opportunity to help sponsor events I love and particularly when one has been forked from the other.”

Porcfest is also promoting the sponsorship in advance of this year’s event, alerting Porcfest attendees that Forkfest 2019 is happening and is a great excuse to stay in New Hampshire even longer. Together, the events span 10 days and are both held at the same campground. Forkfest is this June 13th through 18th and Porcfest is the 18th through the 23rd.

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Audit: NH Parole board disorganized, inconsistent

Trouble areas:

No set standards, out-of-date technology and understaffing.

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Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Keene City Gang Retaliates Against Downtown Business Owner for Speaking Against Parking Kiosks

Free Keene - Tue, 2019-04-16 22:40 +0000

As a business owner, few things are worse than having the attention of the people calling themselves “government”. Dorrie Masten, a local entrepreneur and property owner, knows this as well as anyone. As the owner of multiple properties and businesses including Keene Apartments and Pedraza’s Mexican Restaurant, Masten is no stranger to Keene’s ridiculous regulations. Unlike most business owners, she isn’t afraid to speak out publicly about how the Keene government gang has made her, her employees, and her customers’ lives more difficult.

The reason most business owners don’t speak out like Masten, is likely because they are understandably afraid they’ll be targeted for retaliation by the government people. According to a video posted to her facebook page yesterday, that’s exactly what’s happened to Masten since she publicly spoke against the parking kiosk that has been installed in front of her Mexican restaurant, Pedraza’s for about 18 months. Here’s Masten’s video, cropped to widescreen with boosted audio:

For newer readers unfamiliar with the history of the parking kiosks, the city gang installed a couple as a test in 2012 and then appeared to listened to the negative feedback from frustrated motorists and actually removed the kiosks they’d installed! Then-police chief Ken Meola explained to the city council at the time that despite paying former Keene police officer Fred Parsells to stand at a kiosk for eight hours a day to help people learn how to use it, the chief had found the following:

– Numerous mechanical difficulties have arisen with the machines and they continue to present.
– The public is finding the technology difficult to operate.
– The technology is not conducive to customers of the downtown businesses.
– Downtown merchants have reported constant complaints about the new kiosks and have reported down-turns in business as a result.
Although a 90 day trial period was requested, it appears that the trial period already undertaken is sufficient to indicate this technology will not work at this time within the City of Keene and that it will not produce the benefits originally believed.

Consequently, we will be suspending the trial period, removing the pay-by-space machines, and re-installing the coin operated parking meters.

After pulling them in 2012, five years later they put them back. Now downtown businesses like Pedraza’s are hurting and customers are frustrated. Masten this year requested the council consider removing the kiosk and for a moment it looked promising as the committee that heard her request voted 4-1 to remove it, though likely replacing it with coin-operated meters. However, rather than have that proposal voted on by the full council, mayor Kendall Lane reportedly somehow sent the proposal to a different committee, who returned with a 4-1 vote to instead continue and possibly expand kiosk use in Central Square! This decision in spite of a petition signed by dozens of downtown business owners opposing the kiosks, presented by Masten and business consultant Jared Goodell.

That’s not all. In Keene, the city gang demands local business owners beg for permission and pay tribute to the gang in order to allow them to put tables outdoors on the sidewalk area. Each year, Masten dutifully pays the bribe and jumps through the paperwork hoops. However this year she was informed by email that her application for the sidewalk permit is “pending”. As a result, she’s unable to acquire her outdoor liquor permit from the state liquor criminals.

Chalk art celebrating the heroic Robin Hooders who saved thousands in Keene from parking tickets.

Plus, according to a video streamed live on Masten’s facebook yesterday, one of the Keene parking enforcers, Jane Vigneau took to facebook while on-the-clock to attack Masten. Vigneau was supposedly admonished by her superiors in the city gang, but hasn’t likely suffered any real consequence. Vigneau, for newer readers of the blog, is one of the parking enforcers who lied to support the city’s failed lawsuit against the “Robin Hooders” who were saving thousands of motorists from parking tickets in downtown Keene back in 2012 and 2013.

More to come as the full city council is expected to meet this week, but as of the time of this writing hasn’t published an agenda. The best course of action, which surely business owners and customers alike would support yet no one has likely proposed, is to remove the parking meters and kiosks entirely from Central Square and the rest of downtown. The worn-out excuses the city parking gang gives for their meters are that they encourage turnover and claim that businesses want that service. However, the city’s own actions prove their argument is false. First, they don’t enforce the meters on the week before Christmas – the biggest shopping week of the year! If there were anytime when “turnover” is important, it’s that week. On the contrary, the week prior to Christmas is great without the parking enforcers prowling the streets. People can shop without worrying if their meter is about to expire. If only we could have the other 51 weeks per year be like that. Also, to further prove it’s really all about generating revenue, the city gang enforces the meters during the slow hours too, when plenty of spaces are available on-street.

When I spoke with her today, Masten was dismayed with the city government gang ignoring the pleas of the business owners. The reality of the situation is the city is a criminal organization that does whatever benefits “the City”, meaning the people in the gang – not the people subjected to their rule. We’ve seen example after example of how it works, with the BEARCAT situation being one of the most flagrant.

Will any signficant changes be made to the Keene city council in this year’s upcoming municipal election? Don’t get your hopes up, but stay tuned here to Free Keene for the latest.

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

March 2019 Newsletter & Annual Reports

Read the Latest CCJR Newsletter and CCJR Annual Report of our Chairman Click HERE

 

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Bicyclist Who Rode to New Hampshire Launches Video Series

Free Keene - Fri, 2019-04-12 20:52 +0000

Jonathan Dunker, who in 2017 rode his bicycle from Florida to Keene, New Hampshire, is hitting the streets in 2019 with a video series that will feature his upcoming journeys. He starts with a vlog about his trips around Keene:

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

NH State House Legislative Hearings April

  LegiScan Monitoring Report

Weekly Summary

NH State House Legislative Hearings April April 8, 2019

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Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Chris Cantwell Storms Out of Studio During “Shemale vs NAZI” Event!

Free Keene - Sat, 2019-03-16 21:53 +0000

After saying he intended to stay all night if he had to, Christopher Cantwell aka the “Crying NAZI” didn’t even make it all the way through the first hour of his on-air discussion with Aria DiMezzo, the “Anarchist Shemale“. Once a caller called him a name he didn’t like, Cantwell was triggered and stormed out of the studio, bringing the “Shemale vs NAZI” event to an abrupt close. Here’s the clip:

It’s safe to say that if you leave the court, you’ve lost the match. Shemale 1, NAZI 0.

Also, kudos to Aria for not only defeating the libertarian-turned-racist-and-statist Cantwell but also for risking her Twitch channel being banned over having Cantwell on and allowing him to express his views uncensored. We were all certain they would pull down the feed, but they didn’t. Not only that, her feed made it to #2 in the talk shows category during the live broadcast and afterwards she was awarded the coveted “Twitch Partner” status for her channel!

Don’t miss Aria’s talk radio show, Call to Freedom, heard and seen weekdays 4-7pm on the LRN.FM Twitch channel and the LRN.FM audio streams. Also, if you have a computer at home or at work and are willing to help the LRN.FM channel get to Twitch Partner status, just click here for step-by-step instructions. Thank you!

UPDATE: Here’s the full “Shemale vs NAZI” event video. We then followed it up with an episode of “Freer Talk Live” where we wrapped it up as a post-show.

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Detained at US Customs for Three Hours, Devices Unconstitutionally Searched

Free Keene - Mon, 2019-03-11 03:42 +0000

Patch from CBP uniforms.

After having a wonderful time at Anarchapulco 2019, I was looking forward to coming back to New Hampshire. After being gone a total of twelve days, it felt like too long. Mexico was fun, but I missed “the Shire“. I’d scheduled a red eye flight back to the US via JFK airport and would arrive at JFK not long after 5am. This is generally a good time to speed through customs as the airport is pretty empty of passengers so the lines are very short.

Indeed, there was no line whatsoever in the main intake room with the Orwellian police state kiosks that demand ID and take your photograph, printing out a slip that you’re then expected to take to a Customs and Border Protection agent at a booth. There was only one person in the line at the booth in front of me. Despite having smooth sailing the previous year, this year was very different. After checking my ID, the initial CBP agent told me to report to a room off to the left, aka “secondary”.

After years of reporting on my talk radio program about the unconstitutional device searches going on at CBP checkpoints, I finally became part of the statistics. I was to have my devices searched in secret – or have them confiscated. According to the AP, CBP conducted searches of 29,000 devices in 2017, up from 18,400 in 2016, a 57% increase from the previous year! The Electronic Frontier Foundation is suing over it but the border device search policy has been infringing on travelers’ privacy for over a decade.

CBP’s argument is basically that you don’t have rights at the border and they can search whatever they want. Though their policy was recently updated to clarify they supposedly can’t search your online accounts via your phone, how would you really know? Even though they’re supposed to put your phone in airplane mode when they search it, they are allowed to search it in secret, where you can’t observe. That means they can image your phone, plant something on it, and access your accounts, or they could follow their rules and not do those things. You have no idea.

In my case, I went into “secondary”, located off to the side of the main intake area. It was a dismal room with institutional lighting and a bunch of CBP officers sitting behind a counter that stretched the length of the room. Given the time of day, there weren’t many victims of the CBP’s aggression sitting in the several rows of chairs, but there were a handful. All of them with brown skin, waiting around to be “served” by one of the officious, uniformed CBP bureaucrats shuffling about. As each new victim entered the room and sat down, inevitably the victim would pull out their phone in an attempt to kill the time and would be shouted at by a bureaucrat: “no phones!”. No cell phone signs that looked like they were printed 15 years ago had been posted all over the room. For a group of bureaucrats with camera systems everywhere, they sure are awful concerned about pictures being taken of their drab, boring office.

Actual photo from CBP of the area I was held – you can see one of the no cell phones signs.

Anyway, after waiting for a bit, an overweight Asian female officer called me up and had some questions about my name, like why I changed it. I told her, “I wanted to.” I understand that due to CBP refusing to respect rights at the border, you’re expected to answer questions about your identity and your travel, but beyond that scope you are not obligated to answer questions. She had me go sit back down for more waiting. Eventually an “Officer Uzzi”, also a portly New Yorker male-type, called me up to his counter. We were to go back to the table in the back hallway for a search. Uzzi acted like he’d be able to get this taken care of as quickly as possible. I knew better than to believe him. I’d gone into the office at about 5:30am and though there was no clock on the wall, it was taking a while and I suspected I’d miss my connecting flight to Boston despite it being at 8:00am.

After Uzzi pawed through my backpack and checked bag they’d had the Delta crew retrieve for them, it came time for the device search. At this point, from the reporting we’ve done on the issue on Free Talk Live, I know that you can choose to refuse to allow them to search the devices, but if you do, they will confiscate them. Whether you can ever get them back is another question. So, since most people don’t want to have to buy a new phone and laptop every time they come back into the U.S. and leaving them at home is probably not an option, CBP knows people are stuck in a place where 99.9% of their victims will hand over their devices for the unconstitutional search.

To Uzzi’s credit, he was fine with me observing his search, which included my camera, cell phone, and laptop. His search was cursory, at best. He opened up the photos app on my cell phone and looked at pictures of my dog and a bunch of landscape backgrounds. Not that I have anything incriminating, but on principle, I’d deleted most photos from my phone before arriving back in the United States. Also, when traveling I use a sanitized laptop that only has a web browser and remote desktop software on it, so there wasn’t much for him to see there either. While paging through the photos on my camera, he came across the photos of me with Ron Paul. I asked him if he knew who that was and he said he did, recalling Paul’s last name after a moment. Afterwards, it was more sitting and waiting.

During this batch of waiting, there was a lot of interaction with a rotund manager bureaucrat into whose office Uzzi would report more than a few times. It wasn’t possible to catch all of the conversation from where I was seated, but the manager, who told me later he was “Supervisor Van Ihsen”, definitely was making a bunch of phone calls to someone else. I also could have sworn I heard them say something about “child porn”. Longtime readers of this blog will recall when my home radio studio were raided and dozens of devices confiscated back in 2016. No charges have been filed against anyone who works or lives here in three years, and they still have the devices. The raid had been a part of the FBI’s running of a child porn website called Playpen, where for two weeks they allowed thousands of child porn images and videos to be downloaded hundreds of thousands of times. Recent news shows they are continuing to facilitate illegal distribution of child porn by taking over and running child porn chat rooms for at least eighteen months, despite not one single known arrest from their latest investigation.

In the three hours CBP detained and searched me, not a single other person in the room was searched, and several victims came and went during that time, all of them with brown skin. One lady was told she was being denied entry and the officer said he was going to give her a choice – she could accept the decision and go back to Ghana and apply again for a VISA or he could just deny her entry for the next five years. He acted like he was doing her a favor. Presumably, interactions like this go on all day in what CPB refers to as “Secondary”.

Electronic Frontier Foundation is Suing CBP over Unconstitutional Border Device Searches

Uzzi eventually called me up and told me I was free to go. I was able to check my phone and at that point I’d been detained there for ninety minutes. However, as I was leaving secondary, they decided they weren’t done with me after all and ordered me back in and told me to sit and wait some more.

After more waiting, I was told again to come back to their search table and was met this time by two plainclothes, badge-on-a-necklace individuals who previously had been joking around with their uniformed coworkers during the time I’d been sitting. It was now time for a second search of my devices, by people who seemed to know what they were doing. Finding a cryptocurrency sticker in my backpack, one officer, whose name was allegedly Kragoras, asked me if I was into crypto, referring to “hodling” and saying he knows about it and has had crypto in the past. They then asked me for the password to my phone. I told them I wasn’t willing to give that to them, but I’d be willing to unlock the phone for them and turn off the lock feature. They agreed and I provided the unlocked phone to them. Kragoras, thin and Middle Eastern, and his tall and skinny cohort then began to leave the search area and I protested saying I wanted to observe the search. He then claimed that they have special border search powers and left with my three devices, though he never asked me to login to the laptop, so they shouldn’t have been able to search that since it’s an encrypted linux operating system.

After more waiting, the officers brought back my devices and left them with Uzzi. To their credit, they did not falsify charges against me by planting anything on the phone. However, did they image my device and copy everything from it? There’s no way to know. The phone was returned to me in airplane mode, which suggests they were following their own rules and didn’t access my internet accounts through the phone, but I can’t know for sure, since I was prohibited from observing their search. Besides, I’d logged out of my google account and instant messaging clients before arriving back in the United States, as I know to prepare my devices in case a search like this happens. It finally did.

Uzzi again met with supervisor Van Ihsen and I was ultimately released at about 8:30am, three hours after initially detained. At this point I demanded to know the names of everyone who’d interacted with me. As is common with bureaucrats, they refused to provide first names, but Uzzi and Van Ihsen revealed their last names. However Van Ihsen initially refused to provide the names of the two plainclothes agents who’d conducted the secret search of my devices. After pressing him on it, he relented and gave me Kragoras’ name. He acted like he didn’t know who the second plainclothes guy was.

Before letting me go, they asked if I’d taken a photo of their office since being given back the devices. Sadly I had not considered sneaking a photo of their boring, dull office, but it turns out that I didn’t have to, because they posted a picture of the exact place I was on their own website here. You can see the tall counter behind which a multitude of bureaucrats sits as they decide the fates of countless peaceful people simply trying to come to what they believe is a free country, and you can even see one of the “no cell phones” signs as well. The very room they are so worried about being photographed, they themselves photographed.

And yes, I did miss my connecting flight. Delta scheduled me for the next one gratis.

With the numbers of devices being searched going up in recent years, don’t think this can’t happen to you. Consider preparing your devices for search prior to coming back into the country by removing any information or accounts you don’t want government agents to see. Or, prepare to lose your devices to confiscation if you don’t allow the search. Meanwhile the EFF’s lawsuit is the only hope to get this policy ended.

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

“Pho Keene Great” Grand Opening: Photos & Review

Free Keene - Sat, 2019-03-09 02:19 +0000

The line outside prior to PKG’s opening.

This afternoon at just before three, approximately 25 people were in line to be the first paying customers at the new Keene Vietnamese restaurant, “Pho Keene Great“. If you’re new to the Pho Keene Great story, here’s a recap of what happened with their viral showdown with the City of Keene’s Dragon. When the door was opened for the first time today, the initial customers were welcomed by the PKG crew, all wearing black uniforms including t-shirts and hats bearing the Pho Keene Great logo.

PKG’s bustling staff-on-duty numbered at least a dozen plus Chris Rietmann, the proprietor of Route 101 Local Goods, who was at the front at a table offering the hot-selling Pho Keene Great merchandise like t-shirts, hats, bumper stickers and the newest item – tote bags. Plus, each customer walking in was given a free limited-run “Live Pho or Die!” sticker in the shape of New Hampshire and featuring the PKG logo character.

If you aren’t able to come to Keene and still want your own Pho Keene Great gear, you can order it online with your credit card or cryptocurrency like bitcoin at Route 101 Local Goods.

Only a fraction of the busy crew on-duty at PKG.

After the initial group entered, more came in and by the time I left an hour later, not only was I full, but so was Pho Keene Great. Founder Isabelle Rose was seen in the kitchen, constantly active and focused on preparing the delicious food.

The guy sitting next to me at the bar, Matt, has spent most of his life running professional kitchens and he makes a habit of reviewing the restaurants he visits on Yelp. His review for Pho Keene Great was the first the restaurant had received and he left five stars and this review:

I was in line for the grand opening and was served second out of the group. I ordered their meatball pho.

Broth: simple, clear, delicate.
Noodles: perfect.
Meatballs: dense, perfect.

Route 101 Local Goods’ Chris Rietmann talks to a happy customer.

Service: excellent, professional, well seasoned.I’ve been a part of at least 20 restaurant openings in my career and looking around at this one, I see very few foibles or parts that need polish. The food was barely too long in coming, but this is literally DAY ONE, HOUR ONE. I’m extremely impressed at how well out together and error-free this has been, and I can’t wait to come back. I’m so happy not only that there’s a pho place in town, but moreso that there’s a place in town with truly fantastic food and service in a restaurant that is perfectly suitable for everything from family dinners and celebrations to business dinners.

Southeast Asian food should tick all boxes when it comes to flavor in each bite. Pho Keene Great delivers on that necessity and does it in a classy but relaxed environment, and at a reasonable price. Definitely recommend.

The restaurant will initially be open at 3pm daily except Tuesdays and offer a limited dinner menu, though with a full bar and liquor license. They even have a beer on tap from Marlborough’s Frogg Brewing.

Later they are planning to expand Pho Keene Great to include lunch and take-out, but for now they’re keeping it simple to get the gears turning. The restaurant is located next door to City Hall at 11 Central Square in Keene, NH. Here are a few more photos I snapped of the grand opening:

Pho Keene Great, minutes before opening for the first time.

Silhouettes of the intial crowd of customers – view from the bar.

Initial customers wait patiently in the cold, for delicious hot pho soup.

The green version of the sticker given to the first 100 customers!

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Victorious “Pho Keene Great” Restaurant to Open @ 3pm Tomorrow, March 8th

Free Keene - Thu, 2019-03-07 17:23 +0000

Pho Keene Great – Opens Tomorrow March 8th at 3pm!

With less than one day before it opens its doors to the public, Pho Keene Great, the new Keene Vietnamese restaurant in the heart of downtown, has become a viral international news story after the new city manager, Elizabeth Dragon targeted the restaurant during the holidays for its “offensive and not appropriate” name.

Owner Isabelle Rose didn’t back down in the face of the city’s attempt to intimidate her and the media coverage quickly spread across the globe, with readers and viewers outraged at the oppressive, humorless “City of Keene”. Though the city manager had originally demanded Rose meet with her about the sign, the meeting never happened. Within three weeks of the original story breaking, the city people backed down and the “offensive” sign was approved and installed.

Thanks to the viral story, Pho Keene Great t-shirts, hats and bumper stickers have been selling fast at official vendor Route 101 Local Goods as people who do have a sense of humor wanted to show their support of the as-yet-unopened Vietnamese restaurant, from as far away as Australia and Afghanistan. Even celebrities like magician and comedian Penn Jillette got in on the fun.

Isabelle Rose, at her food truck in 2016.

All of this with most people never having had the food itself! I say most because many in the Keene area know exactly what to expect from Pho Keene Great when they open their doors to the public for the first time at 3pm tomorrow afternoon (Friday March 8th). Rose had in the last few years run her own Vietnamese pho food truck which had been located outside Route 101 Local Goods in Keene. The pho noodle soup was delicious and she accepted cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as payment!

Now with a newly renovated kitchen, stocked bar, and full staff behind her, Rose is ready to graduate from her successful dream of running her own food truck to the next level – running a sit-down restaurant. I’m excited to see this all coming together for her, and a lot of it is thanks to the bumbling City of Keene making itself look like petty tyrants on the world stage (again).

Here’s some recent media coverage featuring WCAX TV’s Galen Ettlin being given an exclusive look inside Pho Keene Great during construction in February. In the package, Rose explains the story behind the restaurant and takes the reporter on a tour:

Pho Keene Great is located at 11 Central Square in downtown Keene, New Hampshire, right next door to city hall.

Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide offers free, individualized tax preparation

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide offers free, individualized tax preparation for low-to moderate-income taxpayers - especially those 50 and older - at nearly 5,000 locations nationwide. Find a location near you by searching below. (You do not need to be an ARPP member).

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Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Appeals court provides new vehicle to challenge registration

By Larry . . . We are excited to report that registrants in Pennsylvania now will have a new vehicle to challenge sex offender registration. The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit Court handed down a precedential decision on February 27th that has the potential to be significant going forward.

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Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

Today, the NH House voted In favor of a bill to repeal the death penalty by a vote of 279-88. "Ask the Governor not to Veto"

Today, the NH House voted In favor of a bill to repeal the death penalty by a vote of 279-88. "Ask the Governor not to Veto" HB 455 would replace the sentence of death with life in prison without parole and would only apply to future capital cases.

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Categories: Articles, New Hampshire

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